(A D20 Campaign)
My brother and one of our co-workers and I
were talking about the latest Final Fantasy game
over lunch. Naturally, the conversation led us
back to old D’n’D stories – the entire Final
Fantasy series borrows heavily from early
Feeling a bit nostalgic, I decided it would
be fun to run another D’nD game… sort of. There
were some things I didn’t like about the
original system, and Second Edition did a poor
job of fixing them. It added some flexibility,
but at the cost of game balance and simplicity.
Third Edition, on the other hand, did a really
good job of fixing most of my initial complaints
while hanging on to the things that made D’n’D
appealing in the first place. I haven’t examined
the 3.5 rules too closely, but they seem to have
done more of the same.
I toyed with the sort of games I like to
play, and decided to make this campaign work
more the way they do. For one thing, the players
would be given a lot of power, but they wouldn’t
start with much. That required a couple of
changes from the Dungeons and Dragons rules:
- Nobody rolls dice to determine their hit
points – ever. All characters will
automatically gain maximum HP for their
chosen class when they level up. Of course,
the same will apply to monsters: 1 HD
enemies will have 8 hp, etc.
- Nobody rolls for ability scores, either.
Everybody starts with a score of 10 in each
ability. They get 32 points to add to those
scores – which makes it possible, in theory,
to have base ability scores of 18, 18, 18,
18, 17, and 3 if the players are so
inclined. This will be power-gaming, but
mainly it will give the characters some
starting advantages (probably including
extra hit points).
- Experience points are null and void.
Players/Characters will be rewarded with
increased levels, at the GM’s whim.
(Basically, whenever they accomplish
something useful.) That should allow a much
faster advancement rate.
- No prestige classes will be allowed.
- The traditional D’n’D races won’t exist
in this world. I will also be making up my
own monster races.
- No specific deities. Clerics still serve
supernatural forces, but the nature of those
forces is unclear. That also means that all
clerics fall under the default clerical
- I’m ignoring that damned useless and
confusing Alignment system. Develop a real
Okay, so what sort of scenario fits in
with this? To be honest, I don’t remember
whether the scenario inspired the system
changes or vice versa. In any case, what I
settled on was this:
The world was originally populated by humans
and natural animals. Humans remain one of
the major races, but various empires and
sects experimented with magical
‘improvements’ over the centuries. Some
mingled their blood with animals, others
with creatures summoned from higher or lower
planes. In a relatively short time, they
became individuated races, incapable of
breeding with True Men. Because of this,
there are no specific ‘racial’ languages:
only regional dialects.
I wanted the players to learn about this
world as their characters did, so none of
them were ‘born’ here. All characters will
begin with a case of amnesia; as they
explore the world, they will slowly regain
their memories and a sense of the history
and layout of the land. Their hosts have
summoned them to help with certain problems
that the usual forces (guards, armies, etc.)
are too busy to handle. So, all players will
begin with the following introduction:
“You wake to find yourself in bed. The
room around you is well furnished, but the
style is unfamiliar to you – foreign. You
have vague memories of struggling against
cold darkness. The darkness was broken apart
by a searing light, and a drum beat shook
the world. The thumping faded slowly,
steadily, until you weren’t aware of it
anymore. (Maybe they were dreams. You aren’t
Friendly faces appeared around you, crowding
you, helping you. You didn’t recognize any
of them, and none of them were like you.
Then, suddenly, you could understand what
they were saying. They wanted you to walk.
They wanted you to come with them. They
wanted you to choose your equipment. They
looked up to you, respected you, maybe even
feared you… You thought maybe you should be
used to that, but you weren’t sure why.
Your movements were stiff at first, but with
time and practice they became natural again.
Speech was even stranger, and as you
adjusted to it you realized that whatever
these people spoke, it wasn’t a language you
knew. They had done something to make you
You didn’t know why you chose the things you
did. They were items – weapons, equipment,
armor – that felt natural in your hands.
Things you had known… when? Before, whenever
that was. Before whatever had happened. You
took the things they gave you, and you
practiced until using them felt normal
again. You rested…
Now someone is knocking on your door.”
Feats, and Equipment